Miranda Keyes

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Miranda Keyes
Lieutenant Commander Miranda Keyes.png
Biographical information




February 28, 2525[1]


December 11, 2552[2] (aged 27)






178 centimetres (5 ft 10 in)


151 pounds (68 kg)

Hair color:


Eye color:


Political and military information





Service number:


Notable info:

She is the daughter of Captain Jacob Keyes and Catherine Halsey[4][3]

Marine: "Ma'am, squad leaders are requesting a rally point. Where should they go?"
Miranda Keyes: "To war."
—Miranda Keyes, during the Battle of Earth.

Commander Miranda Keyes,[3] born Miranda Halsey[5] (service number 15972-19891-MK), was the commanding officer of both the UNSC In Amber Clad as well as the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. She was also the commander of the human expedition force to Installation 00 in late 2552. She was the daughter of the late Captain Jacob Keyes and Doctor Catherine Halsey.[3]


Early life and military career[edit]

Dr. Halsey's sketches of a young Miranda.
Miranda Halsey was born in 2525 to Catherine Halsey and Jacob Keyes. She lived with her mother until 2531, when she was sent to live with her father because her mother felt that she could not provide the care her daughter deserved. In the following years she changed her last name to Keyes.[5] She would live on Luna, where her father taught at the Academy at Mare Nubium, or Luna Officer Candidate School.[4] Dr. Halsey attempted to dissuade Miranda from joining the UNSC military, to no avail.[6] Miranda was accepted to the Academy's pre-enlistment training at age 16, being the second-youngest to ever have attended the school. After graduating with honors, she immediately requested assignment to active duty.[1]

She was assigned to the UNSC Hilbert, an older, unarmed science vessel patrolling the outer reaches of UNSC-controlled space. This was due to her mother's influence, who wanted to keep Miranda out of harm's way.[6] Despite this, the ship was used by Keyes to play a critical role in the Battle of Gamma Pavonis VII, ramming the Hilbert into a Covenant destroyer. Keyes was one of the two of the crew to make it to the escape pods. In the following years, Keyes spent most of her time in the front lines, playing a crucial advisory role in the coordination of several major offensive strikes against Covenant targets. This proved invaluable to her as she quickly rose through the ranks of the UNSC. Throughout her career, she was forced to confront accusations of nepotism from those who ascribed her rapid rise in rank to the position and influence of her father, Jacob Keyes.[1]

A sketch from Halsey's journal depicting Miranda with her father.
Throughout her life, Miranda harbored a resentment for her estranged mother, and she stopped answering Halsey's letters at one point after having her name changed.[1] At some point while she was a Midshipman, she sent her mother a message, stating that she was somewhat aware of what Dr. Halsey had done. She promised to keep who her mother was a secret, simply because she didn't want her father associated with what she had done. She ended the message promising to make sure she would take after him.[7] A rare exception to her silence was when she invited her mother to her promotion ceremony, although Halsey did not come.[6] According to AI Black-Box, Miranda kept a journal like Halsey did, and wondered how Dr. Halsey would feel if she read it.[8]

In April 2550, Miranda was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in a promotion ceremony at downtown Quezon on Reach. Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood also personally awarded her the Silver Star, and it was announced that she would assume command of the UNSC frigate In Amber Clad. Immediately following the ceremony, Keyes was deployed back to active duty, having been able to postpone a mandatory leave required for those receiving high-ranking promotions.[1]

In 2552, she accepted her father's posthumous Colonial Cross on Cairo Station immediately before the Battle of Earth. At this time, she was assigned to the Medii Battle Group of the UNSC Home Fleet.[3]

Battle of Earth[edit]

Miranda Keyes at the controls of UNSC In Amber Clad during the Battle of Earth.
Main article: Battle of Earth

At the start of the Battle of Earth, Miranda's vessel was docked at Cairo Station, so that she could receive her father's honors. During the awards ceremony, the station was attacked and boarded. Miranda fought her way to her ship with the help of Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, several Marines and the Master Chief, the latter of whom also repelled Covenant boarders along the way. As the Covenant armada began the invasion of Earth, she took In Amber Clad down to New Mombasa, where she dispatched multiple Pelican dropships with Marines to join the massive battle with the Covenant in progress there.

During the battle, In Amber Clad was one of the only vessels close enough to follow the High Prophet of Regret when his assault carrier, Solemn Penance entered Slipspace inside the city.[9]

Delta Halo[edit]

Main article: Battle of Installation 05

The In Amber Clad "piggy-backed" the Prophet of Regret's assault carrier through Slipspace and ended up at Installation 05. There, she sent a platoon of ODSTs to assist the Master Chief in his pursuit of the Prophet of Regret in order to capture or kill him. Once she learned of the Prophet of Regret's plan to activate Delta Halo, she ordered the Master Chief to assassinate him.

Meanwhile, Keyes and Johnson went to the Library of Halo, accompanied by most of the standard Marines of the ship. They attempted to retrieve the Index, and, although Keyes was successful, most of the Marines were killed or infected by the Flood. Once Keyes and Johnson had the Index, they were ambushed by Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee. Johnson was knocked out, but Keyes was able to take down Arbiter's shields with dual SMGs before also being knocked unconscious by Tartarus' Gravity Hammer. Seconds later, Keyes and Johnson were taken from the Arbiter by Tartarus and his band of Brutes. The Brutes then took Keyes and Johnson to High Charity, where they met the High Prophets of Truth and Mercy. They were then taken aboard separate Phantom dropships and were transported to Delta Halo's surface.

Keyes was taken to the Control Room of Installation 05 because she had been designated as a Reclaimer by 343 Guilty Spark. Tartarus then used her to begin the Installation's activation sequence. Shortly afterward Thel 'Vadamee and Johnson arrived, and the three of them were able to kill Tartarus. At that moment, she retrieved the Index and stopped the Halo from firing. When she asked 343 Guilty Spark about the Halos, 343 Guilty Spark told her about the Ark.[10]

Return to Earth[edit]

While most of the Covenant separatists' Fleet of Retribution remained to maintain the quarantine of High Charity, Commander Keyes, Johnson and the Arbiter returned to Earth on one of the fleet's vessels and arrived before the Forerunner Dreadnought with John-117 onboard. On Earth, she commanded the defense of Earth from the UNSC base Crow's Nest.[11]

Shortly after Master Chief was recovered from the African jungles, Crow's Nest came under heavy Covenant attack. As the base was overrun with Covenant forces, Keyes and the command staff evacuated the wounded Marines and escaped on the last Pelican. The large explosive device that Keyes ordered left behind was detonated by the Master Chief, destroying a large portion of the attacking Covenant. Miranda then took an active role as the commanding officer of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, Fleet Admiral Hood's personal flagship. After the Prophet of Truth succeeded in opening the Portal outside Voi, Keyes was permitted by a reluctant Hood to follow Truth's forces through the portal.

Battle of Installation 00 and death[edit]

Main article: Battle of Installation 00
Miranda Keyes moments before her death at the hands of the Prophet of Truth.

Miranda Keyes, commanding Forward Unto Dawn, then traveled with Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum and a Covenant separatist fleet to Installation 00; they arrived on December 11.[2] During the Battle of Installation 00, she landed troops and large quantities of weaponry and armor on the Ark, largely to supplement John-117's search for the Cartographer facility. When John-117 located Truth at the Ark's control room, she dispatched several Pelican dropships to deactivate the shield protecting the Citadel. Though the UNSC/separatist forces were able to deactivate the shield, the battle was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the Flood-infested High Charity. The Shadow of Intent suffered heavy damage upon the Flood's arrival, and was unable to open fire on the Citadel. Miranda ordered John-117 and the Arbiter to storm the tower and stop Truth.

Realizing that John and Thel 'Vadam would never get there in time to stop Truth, Keyes decided to stall Truth herself. She crashed her Pelican into Truth's position, intending to stop the Array's firing and rescue Sergeant Johnson, who had been captured by Truth's forces. She exited her Pelican with an M90A Shotgun and an M6G Pistol. She was able to kill two Brutes, and wounded (some fatally) several others but ultimately found herself outnumbered. Johnson demanded that she kill them both in order to halt Truth's plans. Keyes, unwilling to harm Johnson, hesitated. As she paused, the Prophet of Truth shot her in the back with a Brute Spiker, killing her. Her death greatly disheartened and demoralized Johnson and he didn't resist when Truth used him to activate the Ark. Truth viewed Miranda's unwillingness to kill Johnson as proof that humans were weak and unable to set aside their compassion, which was why the Forerunners had left them behind.

After the Master Chief and the Arbiter stopped Truth, Keyes' body was subsequently rescued from Flood infection by Johnson, who carried her into the Pelican which he used to escape the Ark's control room. It is likely that her body was taken back to Earth, and buried there. Her face is later seen in a photograph on the Memorial to the fallen on a hillside overlooking the Portal to the Ark, near the photograph of Avery Johnson and the service number of Master Chief John-117.

Due to her actions during the final months of the Human-Covenant War, she was posthumously awarded the UNSC Legion of Honor.[12]

Catherine Halsey, despite having been estranged from her daughter, mourned Miranda's death and often cried in her sleep, whispering Miranda's name to herself. [13]

Personality and traits[edit]

Like her father, Miranda Keyes was known for being one of the bravest officers in the UNSC. This was demonstrated by her decision to follow Regret's flagship into Slipspace during the Battle of Mombasa, when she crashed the Hilbert into the Covenant destroyer over Gamma Pavonis-VII, and during the Battle of Installation 00, when she crashed her Pelican through the Citadel's window in a last-ditch effort to rescue Avery Johnson moments before her death.

Due to her unexpected move to follow Regret's ship into Slipspace, she was described by Commander Richard Lash as "The ballsiest officer in the Fleet". He further suggested that she may have been trying to live up to the reputation of her father or that she was simply "nuts".[9]

Although she and her father were not particularly close, Miranda identified with him more than she did with her mother. This is suggested by her decision to take up her father's surname after being raised by her mother.


In-game, Keyes appears as a non-playable character and is invulnerable to damage. When meleed, she won't bleed, she'll only bleed when shot at or when caught in a grenade explosion. If you do either of the aforementioned for a period of time in the Halo 2 level Cairo Station she will moan. If you shoot her for some time or melee her in Halo 3 she will scream hysterically.


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  • Miranda Keyes was voiced by Julie Benz in Halo 2. In Halo 3, she was portrayed by Justis Bolding instead, allegedly because Bungie wanted Keyes to have a distinct accent.[14] However, Keyes' voice in Halo 3 had no discernible accent.
  • Notably, Keyes was born five days after the Human-Covenant War began and died during its last major battle.
  • In both Halo 2 and Halo 3, she has the number seven engraved on her cheek.
  • In Halo 2, Keyes' uniform collar bears the silver oak leaf of a commander and she is addressed as "Commander" in a formal setting. In Halo 3, her uniform's collar has the golden oak leaf of a lieutenant commander, though its shoulder boards and sleeve ends bear the three full bars of a commander rather than the two full bars and one thinner bar of a lieutenant commander. Halo: The Essential Visual Guide confirms that she held the rank of commander at the time of her death.[3]
  • The Halo Encyclopedia mistakenly claims that Keyes was killed by a Brute Honor Guardsman, though she was actually killed by the Prophet of Truth.[15]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Halo: Reach Limited Edition, Intersystem News, LCDR Miranda Keyes Awarded Silver Star
  2. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Hero-Fortitude
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 107
  4. ^ a b Halo: Reach, Dr. Halsey's personal journal
  5. ^ a b Dr. Halsey's personal journal, April 6, 2550 ("Initially, she likely joined the military to impress her father; after all, she had her name legally changed.")
  6. ^ a b c Dr. Halsey's personal journal, April 6, 2550
  7. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 186
  8. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 148
  9. ^ a b Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 185
  10. ^ Halo 2, campaign level, The Great Journey
  11. ^ Halo Waypoint, "The Long Road Home"
  12. ^ Halo 3, "Epilogue"
  13. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 267
  14. ^ Dexter's No. 1 Gal — Julie Benz — Previews a Killer Finale Friday, December 15, 2006
    TVGuide.com: Are you all done with your voice work for the Halo 3 video game?
    Julie Benz: You know what? I am actually not a part of Halo 3. I was informed a couple of weeks ago that they are actually changing the voice of Commander Miranda Keyes, and giving her an accent.
  15. ^ Halo Encyclopedia, page 73